Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side hosted Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United in a huge Premier League clash on Sunday with the Red Devils looking to bounce back from their European exit during the week, and Liverpool seeking the three points that would see them go top of the Premier League table.
LIV: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, van Dijk, Tsimikas; Szoboszlai, Endo, Gravenberch; Salah, Nunez, Diaz
MUN: Onana; Dalot, Evans, Varane, Shaw; Mainoo, Amrabat; Antony, McTominay, Garnacho; Hojlund
Manchester United were put immediately under pressure by the Reds who looked to defend their 100% win record at home this season, winning a corner just 16 seconds in – followed by Kostas Tsimikas sending an inviting ball towards the far post that United were able to unconvincingly clear.
Klopp’s side continued to control the opening minutes with the first spout of possession for the Red Devils coming seven minutes in, as Diogo Dalot won the ball in midfield before passing out wide to Antony, whose shot was blocked.
The first big chance of the game was Liverpool’s in the 16th minute as Trent Alexander-Arnold crossed from the right to Darwin Nunez who headed down to three waiting in the box, none of whom could convert the chance.
Ryan Gravenberch squared the ball to Mohamed Salah in 43rd minute with the winger’s low effort at goal forcing yet another save from the United keeper – and as half-time arrived, Liverpool’s 15 shots became their most in the first half of a Premier League game against Manchester United since December 2018, but the scoreline did not reflect this.
A yellow card for Sofyan Amrabat earnt the Red Devils a free-kick in a dangerous position in the 47th minute, but with the shot amounting to nothing, the match remained goalless at the break after an underwhelming 45 minutes.Embed from Getty Images
Immediately back on the attack as the second half restarted, the hosts started as they had the first – with Trent Alexander-Arnold working the ball into the box, his low right-footed shot going into the side-netting from a difficult angle.
At the other end of the pitch, Kobbie Mainoo tore apart the Reds’ defence with a curling ball that Alejandro Garnacho was bursting forward to reach, but Alexander-Arnold quick to close him down as he prodded the ball back to Alisson.
The Red Devils’ best chance of the game came in the 69th minute, as Scott McTominay and Rasmus Hojlund played a one-two, with the latter’s shot smashed straight at Alisson from close range.
In the final fifteen minutes, Salah released Nunez from a one-two before squaring across to Luis Diaz who saw his effort kept out by a last-ditch block. Diaz kept possession alive from another Liverpool corner, crossing in from the left side to Ibrahima Konate, who produced a right-footed strike straight at Andre Onana.
Appeals for a penalty in the 86th minute from Liverpool players was denied quickly by VAR, with the ball having bounced off Luke Shaw’s leg and onto his arm.
Two yellow cards in quick succession saw Diogo Dalot sent off with 30 seconds left to play – the Portuguese defender threw his arms protesting a throw-in decision that saw him receive a yellow card for show of dissent in the 95th minute, which was then promptly followed by a second yellow card for a similar reaction to a free kick given against him following a challenge on Mohamed Salah that he thought was fair.
The full time whistle was blown with Liverpool dropping points at Anfield for the first time this season, as the spoils were shared in an underwhelming Premier League clash.